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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Amazing to see we're onto Page 100 here! [Image: smile.png]

(12-10-2017, 01:38 AM)Theoderic Wrote: Both of these translations would seem to imply that Paulinus was in some sort of enclosed space with woods at the side and rear...

Just woods at the rear, I think, 'closing' the site from that direction. High ground on either side - no mention of woods there as well.

There's no mention of high ground at the rear either, so this isn't necessarily a dead-end valley or totally enclosed space. A dip between hills, with woods behind it, would be fine.


(12-10-2017, 01:38 AM)Theoderic Wrote: Newground Road at Tring would seem to be vulnerable from attack in the rear (via the Icknield Way) even if the area was forested which would seem unlikely as both a river (the Bulbourne) and Akeman Street run through the site and also as the Brythonic army had just come down a valley from today's Berkhampstead via Cow Roast not gathered on a plain. 

The site report from the Cow Roast excavations I linked pages back mentions that the area just north of, or around, Tring station was heavily wooded in antiquity - the area was deforested by charcoal burners in later centuries, it seems.

The Bulbourne rises somewhere around there, but probably not that high even before the canal works, besides being a chalk stream anyway, and Akeman Street veers off to the north-west. The 'plain' would be the area north of Cow Roast, up to beyond Newground Road.

Over at Dunstable, we have woods reported in the area of the modern town until the Middle Ages; the whole north-western slope of the Chilterns appears to have been forested. So both sites could be 'closed in the rear by a wood'.

For the Iknield Way to be a problem we'd have to assume a separate rebel force operating north of the Chilterns, or some sort of rebel detachment moving beyond the main army and circling around through the hills. Even if Boudica's army had the strategic capability to do that, Paulinus would soon have been made aware of it - which could be why he took care to check that there were no enemies to his rear...


(12-11-2017, 11:36 AM)John1 Wrote: it is so emphatically about a "narrowness of defile" that many prospective sites are ruled out.

So I've always assumed, and I suspect others have thought the same. The confusion came in with the translation of munimento - the word can refer to a camp fortification or rampart, I think, but in this context it just means defence or protection.

But we've discussed the definitions of a 'defile' several times. I don't think Tacitus was referring to some sort of ravine or deep gulley - which in the sorts of geographical area we're considering would be hard to find anyway! In relative terms, this is a dip, just about wide enough for his front line, protected by high ground on either side, nothing more.


(12-10-2017, 09:08 PM)Legate Wrote: Is it possible that Tacitus was present in Britain at some point during Agricola's governorship?

It's possible, although again he might perhaps have mentioned it if he had - he married Agricola's daughter in 77/78 and was Quaestor (in Rome?) in 81/82.
Nathan Ross
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Messages In This Thread
Re: Calling all armchair generals! - by Ensifer - 03-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 02:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 05:40 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 05:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 09:42 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 10:10 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 08:36 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-27-2012, 01:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 08-05-2012, 02:24 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-07-2014, 02:18 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-08-2014, 01:50 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-11-2014, 02:03 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-18-2014, 07:54 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-20-2014, 02:37 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-25-2014, 08:29 AM
RE: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand. - by Nathan Ross - 12-11-2017, 12:39 PM

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